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Scouts star at annual awards dinner

Greats on hand as impact-makers honored at fundraising gala
MLB.com @kengurnick

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Hall of Famers as well as the unsung heroes of the baseball community turned out Saturday night for the 15th annual Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation Awards Dinner.

This year's fundraiser coincided with an offseason in which dozens of scouts have lost jobs, underscoring the need for assistance, foundation officials said.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Hall of Famers as well as the unsung heroes of the baseball community turned out Saturday night for the 15th annual Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation Awards Dinner.

This year's fundraiser coincided with an offseason in which dozens of scouts have lost jobs, underscoring the need for assistance, foundation officials said.

"It's heartbreaking that many of my fellow scouts have fallen on hard times and have to ask for assistance," said White Sox special assistant to the general manager Dave Yoakum, who shared the George Genovese Lifetime Achievement Award in Scouting with Dan Jennings of the Nationals and the late Stan Zielinski of the Cubs.

Speaking to a sellout crowd at the Beverly Hilton, Yoakum cited fellow Foundation co-founder Dennis Gilbert for being its "beating heart." The foundation has raised more than $2 million and helped more than 100 scouts and their families.

Video: George Brett on importance of Scouts Foundation

The award for Zielinski, a Cubs scout who died last January, was presented by former Cubs GM Jim Hendry and pitcher Jeff Samardzija, one of Zielinski's Draft picks. Zielinski's son, Zach, accepted the award.

"He never treated players as prospects," Zach said of his father. "He treated them like family."

Jack Gillis, Bruce Kison, Ken "Squeaky" Parker and Gene Watson shared the Legends in Scouting Award presented at the dinner, which was hosted by Matt Vasgersian, Joe Magrane and Heidi Watney of MLB Network.

The Player Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ken Griffey Jr., with his father and former Mariners teammate, Ken Sr., helping to present as well as accept.

Junior encouraged scouts to redouble their search for talent.

Video: Ken Griffey Jr. receives Lifetime Achievement Award

"You guys are appreciated," Junior said to the scouts. "Keep at it. I don't want to go to football games." Buster and Kristen Posey received the "In the Spirit of the Game Award" for their foundation's impactful work on behalf of pediatric cancer research, presented by Posey's Giants manager, Bruce Bochy.

"In all my years in baseball, I have not found a better teammate than Buster Posey," said Bochy, who read a list of Posey's on-field achievements. "But if you think he's an amazing teammate, wait until you meet his wife, Kristen. They have dedicated themselves to beating pediatric cancer. When they're not out raising awareness and bringing others to the fight, they're inside cancer wards, one-on-one with patients. Their dedication is immense."

Video: Buster, Kristin Posey win award at Scouts Dinner

Washington outfielder Bryce Harper was given the Scout's Dream Award, presented by Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.

"I remember being 16 and waiting for Sports Illustrated to come in the mail," said Turner. "At 16, Bryce Harper was on the cover of Sports Illustrated."

Video: Harper honored Scouts Dream Award at Scouts Dinner

Cleveland's Terry Francona received the Tom Lasorda Managerial Achievement Award, presented by last year's winner, Dave Roberts of the Dodgers.

Video: Francona accepts Tommy Lasorda Managerial Award

Thomas Tull, a former scout who produced "42," the epic film about Jackie Robinson, received the Bud Selig Executive Leadership Award, presented by Selig, MLB's Commissioner Emeritus.

The Dave Winfield Humanitarian Award was presented by the Hall of Famer to Kurt Rappaport, a Los Angeles real estate entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Tweet from @DaveWinfieldHOF: Just returned from 2018 Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation #pbsf @beverlyhilton and gave the Dave Winfield Community Service Award to young real estate titan Kurt Rappaort @USC. His service to causes started at home. Congratulations!! pic.twitter.com/NMryANAUw5

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.